The article will focus on the mentioned vegetarian vitamins and explain their functions and role in daily vegetarians’ diet.
Speaking about vitamin A, it’s necessary to mention that it belongs to an important group of vegetarian vitamins, which are derived from large amounts of carotenes provided by plant foods. The best sources of carotenes are primarily orange colored fruits and vegetables including sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes, apricots and well-leafy green vegetables (for example, spinach).
Another important group of vegetarian vitamins is a group of vegetarian vitamin B including vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, biotin, folate and pantothenic acid. Except vitamin B12, other vegeratian vitamins of group B are not stored in the human body, that’s why it’s quite necessary to eat products containing these vitamins regularly. Be aware that vitamins of group B can be easily destroyed by cooking. Speaking about the sources of these vegetarian vitamins, it’s important to mention seeds, whole grains and nuts. As a matter of fact, most of modern breakfast cereals are fortified with B-group vitamins. Thus, all of the vegetarian vitamins of group B are available in plant food except vitamin B12. Therefore, vegetarians are often advised to take special supplements of this vitamin produced by bacteria. By the way, it can be stored in the human body so that it doesn’t have to be taken every single day.
Speaking about vegetarian vitamin D it’s important to note that its significant source is the certain action of sunlight on the human skin. This sunlight is known to produce the chemical contributing the production of vitamin D in the human body. The exposure doesn’t have to be long, because vitamin D can be stored in the human body and is usually enough to cover all the cloudy days when people are likely to stay indoors. It’s worthy admitting that in terms of food, vitamin D can only be found in animal products including oily fish, liver, butter, eggs and cod liver oil. Be aware that vitamin D plays an outstanding role in calcium absorption and therefore – in correct formation of human bones and teeth.
It’s a common knowledge that vegetarian food products also contain vitamin E which is found in many plants such as wheat germ, vegetable oil, seeds, nuts and whole grains. As a matter of fact, vitamin E is stored in the human organism and protects cells from various damaging influence of free radicals, possibly involved in cancers, arthritis and cataracts.
Another common vegetarian vitamin found in plant foods is vitamin K, which is pretty essential for blood clotting.
Thus, according to the recent studies in the field of vegetarianism thanks to vegetarian vitamins (and minerals as well) vegetarians tend to have lower degree of risks of colon cancer, lung cancer, coronary artery disease, diabetes, hypertension, etc. Some of the mentioned beneficial effects occur in some cases because vegetarians tend to have regular physical exercises and minimize the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.